Samoa Beat


Pacific history was made with the very first Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium opening in Samoa today, demonstrating global leadership from the island region in protecting and conserving Pacific sharks and rays.


The world’s first regional shark sanctuary, the Micronesia Regional Shark Sanctuary between Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and the Republic of Marshall Islands, was established in the Pacific in 2015.  It was also the Pacific island nation, Palau that established the world’s very first shark sanctuary in 2009.


Over the course of two days Pacific Ministers are building momentum on the leadership displayed to conserve our iconic marine species.


“We have led the world to see that the future of our countries depends on proper management of marine ecosystems, creating and capitalising on the momentum these realisations have created to ensure shark populations are finally getting the proper management they so need,” said Hon. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa, Fiame Naomi Mata’afa.


“Though much has been achieved, proper shark conservation and management remain a pertinent global issue. Sharks are economically, ecologically and culturally important to us Pacific Islanders, yet many populations are plummeting to frighteningly low levels.”


The Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium is the culmination of a partnership between the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of the Government of Samoa, the Pew Charitable Trusts and Paul. G Allen Philanthropies.


Over 100 million sharks are killed each year in commercial fisheries to meet the high demand of shark fins, despite the fact that healthy reefs are vital for tourism.  Science shows that sharks help maintain the health of coral reefs.


An individual shark is estimated to be valued at USD 1.9M over its lifetime to the tourism industry in Palau.  In 2011 the shark diving industry contributed USD 42.2m to the Fijian economy. 


Despite the value of sharks to the Pacific, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) estimates that 54% of sharks and rays are threatened or near threatened with extinction.


I believe that we have made considerable progress in addressing the headlong collapse of shark populations in our region.   We have achieved this through a unity of purpose, displaying the same solidarity that has served Pacific island nations well in the climate change negotiations, and which we saw on display at the UN Ocean Conference last year,” said Mr Roger Cornforth, Acting Director General of SPREP.


“We have worked together to achieve listings for shark and rays at the recent Conferences of Parties to both the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). Although Fiji, Palau and Samoa were the proponents for mobula rays at CITES and the four Pacific CMS Parties (Cook Islands, Fiji, Palau and Samoa) on blue sharks at CMS respectively, they relied on and received the support of all Pacific island Parties, who stood alongside them in the international arena.”


Over the course of the two days the Pacific ministers and officials will take part in a tree planting initiative to offset their carbon footprint from the journey to Samoa.  The host country, Samoa will also be announcing their shark sanctuary and it is hoped the two day event will result in a Pacific Island Ministers Declaration on the Conservation of Sharks and Rays.


The Pacific Ministerial Shark Symposium is a partnership between SPREP, MNRE, the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Paul. G Allen Philanthropies, it is taking place in Samoa, from 1 – 2 March, 2018 in Samoa.  Pacific Ministers from Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Niue, Samoa, Tuvalu and Vanuatu are attending with high level officials also participating from Federated States of Micronesia and Palau.



An associate professor from the University of Otago has praised the push by the National University of Samoa (N.U.S.)  in re-establishing its on campus health clinic.


The long halt to the clinic has come to an end, with the Vice Chancellor of the University officially opening its doors again to provide students with free health care and aid on campus.


Recently the Vice Chancellor, Fui Le’apai Asofou Soo, stood before the faculty of medicine, students and staff, to commemorate the opening of the universities new and improved health clinic located in the N.U.S. gymnasium.


The Dean of the faculty of Medicine, Le Mamea Dr. Limbo Fiu spoke about the previous undertakings.


 “In the past it was mainly a screening and counseling services offered by nurses. It was discontinued for a number of years because lack of staff. Now the staffing level has improved,” he said.


“We really need a service for our students. So we are re-establishing it again, with more diverse services, both nursing and medical. The health clinic is for any general medical complaints that a student may have,” Dr.Fiu says.


 “We are also well aware of the many diseases of that are more common in the youth population. So we will have people who are trained in those areas, as well as sexual health and mental health, so that we can respond better to the students.Not only that, but some of our staff may need medical advice, and we are offering that as well,” he added.


He says the health clinic will benefit the students of the nursing programs as well with real time practical sessions to be carried out by the students themselves.

“This will be an opportunity for senior students learning through practical experience at the hospital, to also come in and observe and perform basic physical examinations,” he said


The health clinic is a service free of charge to students of the university, opeing every Tuesday for two hours from 10a.m. to 12p.m.  It’s a voluntary effort therefore if any cases are either too serious or would require professional attention, they will be referred to the national hospital for proper attention.


There is a very special relationship between N.U.S. and the University of Otago where students and staff play a vital part in the learning at both universities.


This includes Associate Professor George Dias, who says that the new health clinic Is fantastic for two reasons.

“We at the University of Otago have a student health center, something similar which is very good for the students, but N.U.S. has gone one step further where it’s not only for the students, but the staff, and that’s a fantastic resource,” he said.


 “It’s very pleasing to see the different divisions coming together to run the clinic, as the medical and nursing divisions are coming together and collaborating,” he added.

 “Eventually they have to come together in the workplace to deliver the best possible service to the patient. So that’s a very impressive achievement here at NUS,” he said.


*Taileah Watson is an Exchange student from James Cook University studying Media and Journalism at the National University of Samoa.

Raspberry Pi will soon become a part of the digital education tools utilized in the National University of Samoa.

Raspberry Pi is a tiny and affordable device that can be used to teach computer programming and assist with technology-base education.


“Its is a dynamic micro controller that is capable of just about anything a computer can do. It runs with the python programming language and it is a great way to learn about software and hardware,” said Mose Mose, a Computer lecturer at the national University of Samoa (N.U.S.)


“It is a credit card-sized computer originally designed for education. It is slower than a modern laptop or desktop but is still a complete Linux computer and can provide all the expected abilities that implies, at a lower power consumption level,” said Mose Mose.

The palm –sized computer also contains resources within the Apt-us device that can has access to educational applications such as, dictionary, Wikipedia and more.


Mose says the technologically advanced state that the world is in means N.U.S. has to catch up with the equipment it uses. This means adapting to technology such as the Raspberry Pi for example.


“We want to see the Raspberry Pi being used by students as well as everyone in N.U.S. to be able to understand programming, and to understand how computers work,” he added.


Mose’s presentation coincides with the ongoing Technology Enabled Learning Workshop hosted by the Faculty of Science and the series of seminars by the computing department in pushing more technologically-based learning in N.U.S.


*Marylin and Kopelani are first year Media and Journalism students of the National University of Samoa.

O loo aoaoina alo ma fanau o le Iunivesite Aoao a Samoa i le faaaogaina o le upega tafailagi i se auala saogalemu e faatautaia ai fefaatauaiga o oloa ma auaunaga.

O le faaaogaina o auala faatekonolosi e aofia ai le upega tafailagi o loo aoaoina e se tasi o faiaoga a le Iunivesite Aoao a Samoa e avea ma fesoasoani mo fefaatauaiga.

O Mose Mose o ia lea e ana le upega tafailagi ua taua o le Makeki Online, lea o loo tele na faia ai fefaatauaiga a le atunuu.

Read more: Aoaoina i le faaaogaina o le upega tafailagi mo fefaatauaiga.